I am a litigation partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP in Albany, New York, and focus my practice primarily on appellate litigation in the New York state and federal courts, as well as land use, zoning, and environmental litigation. I have extensive experience in appellate practice, CPLR Article 78 proceedings, and religious land use matters. I’ve also appeared numerous times in various media outlets, speaking on noteworthy appeal issues, fantasy sports and sports betting, and other legal issues in New York.
Prior to entering private practice, I was a Senior Court Attorney at the New York Court of Appeals, where I drafted reports to the Judges of the Court recommending the grant or denial of motions for leave to appeal and analyzed complex issues of appellate jurisdiction and reviewability. This valuable experience helped me gain particular know-how in how to frame motions for leave to appeal to the Court and analyze complex issues in a wide variety of areas of New York law.
- Brief for Appellee, Jay v GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S., Inc. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit)
Question presented: May the plaintiff recover under New York Labor Law § 240 for injuries sustained when he was struck by an HVAC duct being manually loaded into the back of a pickup truck because he chose not to use an available mechanical lift and jumped into the back of the truck before the duct was loaded?
Oral argument audio:
- Brief for Respondent, Coopertstown Holstein Corporation v Town of Middlefield (New York Court of Appeals)
Question presented: May a local municipality use its zoning powers to ban fracking?
- Brief for Respondents-Appellants, Matter of County of St. Lawrence v Shah (New York Court of Appeals)
Question presented: Do local social services districts have vested rights entitling them to Medicaid reimbursement for services provided to mentally disabled Medicaid recipients before the Legislature changed the law to say that no reimbursement is owed?
- Amicus Brief in Support of Appellants, Matter of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve v New York State Adirondack Park Agency (New York Court of Appeals)
Question presented: Do the Rivers Act and Adirondack Park Master Plan prohibit the development of a community connector snowmobile trail open to the public through a wild river area of the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve?
- Amicus Brief in Support of Respondents/Appellants, Protect the Adirondacks! Inc. v New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (New York Court of Appeals)
Question presented: When does a proposed cutting of timber in the State’s protected Forest Preserve run afoul of the Forever Wild clause of the New York Constitution’s express prohibition on the sale, removal, and destruction of timber?
- Amicus Brief in Support of Motion for Leave to Appeal, MBI Intl. Holdings Inc. v Barclays Bank PLC (New York Court of Appeals)
Question presented: When does the statute of limitations for fraud based on discovery begin to run?
- Motion for Leave to Appeal, Fox v 12 East 88th LLC (New York Court of Appeals)
Question presented: Where a landlord and an ongoing rent stabilized individual tenant enter into a lease naming the individual’s wholly-owned corporation as tenant instead of the individual, who remains the ongoing actual occupant, resulting in a holding of deregulation under the Rent Stabilization Code, is the corporate lease void ab initio, and would a contrary result effectively establish a blueprint for landlords and tenants to collusively agree to deregulate rent stabilized properties?
- Motion for Leave to Appeal, Semlear v Incorporated Vil. of Quogue (New York Court of Appeals)
Question presented: Do the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of Southhampton have power to regulate the use of the ocean beaches under pre-Revolutionary War grants from the King of England?
- Brief for Appellants, Matter of Hart v Town of Guilderland Planning Board (Appellate Division, Third Department)
Question presented: Did the Town of Guilderland Planning Board, as SEQRA lead agency, comply with all procedural and substantive requirements of SEQRA when reviewing a residential project and a proposed Costco Wholesale facility?
- Brief for Appellant, Paul Smith’s College of Arts and Sciences v Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg (Appellate Division, Third Department)
Question presented: Did a title to a property that was conveyed exclusively for use for church purposes revert to the grantor when the Diocese closed the parish and stopped using the church building for worship?
Oral argument video
- Brief for Respondents, Matter of Village of Woodbury v Seggos (Appellate Division, Third Department)
Question presented: Did the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation properly grant a water supply permit to the Village of Kiryas Joel?
Publications and Presentations
- New York Daily News, Opinion, Let New Yorkers bet on games online: Restricting sports betting to upstate casinos would forfeit millions in tax revenue (co-authored with Daniel Wallach)
- Albany County Bar Association, June 2018 Newsletter, Bring Your Lunch to the Court of Appeals: A Conversation with Judge Leslie Stein
- New York Association of Towns Planning and Zoning School, Case Law Update (July 2017): Overview of recent New York land use planning and zoning cases
- New York Planning Federation Conference, Case Law Update (March 2017)
- Saratoga County Planning and Zoning Conference, Municipal Review of Religious Projects (January 2017): Overview of recent case law in New York under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and New York common law
- New York Association of Towns Drinking Water Program, Liability of Municipalities and Municipal Officials for Drinking Water Contamination (June 2016): how to avoid the potential civil and criminal liability municipalities and municipal officials face when their drinking water supplies become contaminated
- Association of Towns Annual Meeting, Municipal Review of Religious Projects (February 2016)
- New York State Bar Association’s New York Environmental Lawyer Journal, Subsequent Owners of a Former Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, or Disposal Facility Are Not Strictly Liable to Financially Guarantee Cleanup Under RCRA(Spring/Summer 2015): Examining the Appellate Division, Third Department’s holding in Matter of Thompson Corners, LLC v New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in which the Court held that subsequent property owners of former RCRA treatment, storage, or disposal facilities cannot be held strictly liable to financially guarantee cleanup without regard to their own fault, and the decision’s implications on redevelopment of New York’s brownfield sites
- New York Planning Federation’s Planning News, Home Rule Upheld in Hydrofracking Case (June 2013): Discussing the Appellate Division, Third Department’s landmark decision for the rights of municipalities to decide what types of land uses should be permitted and prohibited within their borders through the use of their zoning powers to control where natural gas drilling occurs using hydraulic fracturing methods.
- New York Association of Towns Annual Meeting, Shale Gas Drilling Case Law Update (February 2013): overview of the recent case law addressing bans and moratoria on shale gas drilling under local zoning authority in New York
- New York State Bar Association’s New York Environmental Lawyer Journal, The Billion Dollar Question – Are Municipalities Preempted Under New York State Law from Using their Zoning Powers to Control Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas? (2012): Examining the arguments made by the parties to the two cases then pending before the New York courts that ask whether local municipalities may use their constitutionally guaranteed home rule powers to zone out natural gas drilling and extraction or whether that authority is preempted under state law.
I earned a Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from Albany Law School, where I served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Albany Law Review. Prior to attending law school, I received a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where I also ran Varsity Track.
Admissions and Affiliations
I am admitted to practice in all state courts in New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of New York. I am a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Albany County Bar Association.